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What?

Low-Rise: Housing Ideas for Los Angeles is a $100,000 design challenge asking architects and landscape architects to help us imagine appealing and sustainable new models of low-rise, multi-unit housing. There is no fee to enter.

Unlike a traditional design competition, Low-Rise is part of a larger research initiative, began with an extensive series of community-engagement listening sessions, which helped inform the brief.

These listening sessions are available on the Low-Rise website and will be required viewing for all entrants. Organized by theme, from Community Land Trusts to sustainability, they make up a seminar on contemporary housing policy in L.A., encompassing both anxiety and aspiration.

The next step is for architects, landscape architects and others to propose new housing models that reflect these hopes and concerns and help broaden and enrich the conversation about the future of low-rise communities across L.A.

When?

Launched November 2020, with proposals due in February 2021.

Who?

Organized by the Mayor’s Office and Christopher Hawthorne, the Chief Design Officer for the City of Los Angeles, with support from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the James Irvine Foundation, and Citi. Part of a larger research initiative, overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation in collaboration with Urban Institute and other partners, on new paths to homeownership and housing affordability in Los Angeles.

Why?

To promote housing affordability, new paths to homeownership, and innovative models of sustainable residential architecture. To support emerging architects and excellence in design. To confront historical patterns of racial and environmental injustice in housing policy in Southern California. To develop healthy models of post-COVID living.

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